The third of my watchwords for 22 is kindness.

Sometime last year I stumbled on the term Intelligent Kindness, which has its foundations within healthcare. This article describes is eloquently:

“Intelligent kindness, then, is not a soft, sentimental feeling or action that is beside the point in the challenging, clever, technical business of managing and delivering healthcare. It is a binding, creative and problem-solving force that inspires and focuses the imagination and goodwill. It inspires and directs the attention and efforts of people and organisations towards building relationships with patients, recognising their needs and treating them well. Kindness is not a ‘nice’ side issue in the project of competitive progress. It is the ‘glue’ of cooperation required for such progress to be of most benefit to most people.”

So where does kindness fit in 2022?

Kindness feels like such a fundamental human behaviour that it’s difficult to consider how we move from what we know kindness to be in our hearts to what kindness looks like, feels like and sounds like in the workplace.

My thought is that we need to start by reflecting on our own definitions and descriptors of kindness and the same at a team level, then an organisational level. Once we’re clear about what we collectively mean when we say kindness, we can work to ensure we create work environments to enable it.

Kindness should to be woven through what we do so as to influence the way we do it. We need to generate the conditions for the virtuous cycle to flourish.